Recently at an all day motivational seminar, my son David and I had the opportunity to meet former Notre Dame Head Coach and ESPN analyst, Mr. Lou Holtz.
Dr. Lou, as they call him now, graduated with my father, Tom, from East Liverpool High School in 1954. As we spent time back stage with Lou, he was very gracious and kind. I was touched by his willingness to listen and engage David into conversation. I have heard Lou’s message before and always appreciate the sincerity that shines through in his demeanor and words. He shared many thoughts that resonated with me, but one in particular was profound. He said, “Today we talk about rights and privileges, 50 years ago, we talked about obligations and responsibilities.” How true! Today, we want to know what’s in it for me and we often have a sense of entitlement. Fifty years ago we talked about how to serve God, our country and others. WIIFM (what’s in it for me) has become all too often the focus, when real rewards lie in the return we get when we give.
Not an easy paradigm to change, but consider this. . . one small thought injected into your family meeting can turn the focus away from WIIFM and onto others. What is it? A random act of kindness and opportunities to do it are everywhere. When we incorporated this into our family meetings, we found that our awareness increased and we were never short of ways to help others. I will post some of our acts in the future and I promise you that if you enjoy a good serotonin rush, this is a sure fire way to have one. Many times, the acts may seem small, but it is often the little things, because they are the least expected, that can have the biggest impact. Warning – it can become contagious!